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DC Department of Health and DC Water Encourage Residents to Surrender Unwanted and Expired Medications

Thursday, September 23, 2010
The Drug Enforcement Administration will offer local collection sites on September 25.

Washington, DC – The DC Department of Health (DOH) and the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water)  are encouraging District residents to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) newest nation-wide effort to help improve the disposal methods of prescription drug medication.  The DEA in conjunction with state and local governments, law enforcements, community, and public health organizations has announced a prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative for the District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland areas. 

Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, which can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse.   According to the DEA “rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.” 

“Residents should take advantage of this opportunity to properly dispose of their unwanted or old medications,” said Dr. Pierre Vigilance, Director of DOH. “By following safe and appropriate medication disposal methods, it will help reduce the likelihood of endangering our community and our environment.” 

The drug “Take-Back” initiative will help educate the public of proper medication disposal methods, as well as offer local take-back collection centers for people wanting to get rid of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted medicines.   Collection centers will be facilitated by the Washington area DEA, who will work with state and local police departments throughout the region to help collect and destroy medications.

DC Water encourages the public to surrender all leftover or expired pharmaceuticals to ensure safety for people, the environment and our waterways.    “We hope residents will turn in their unused and unwanted medications for safe collection and disposal, instead of flushing them down the drain,” said DC Water General Manager George S. Hawkins. “Most medications that are flushed down the sink or toilet end up in our rivers and streams. This initiative helps to protect our waterways and preserve aquatic life.”

The DEA will offer several collection sites this Saturday, September 25th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The service is free and anonymous. Below is a list of collection sites in the District of Columbia.

 Collection Site  Address
First Police District   101 M Street, SW
 First District Substation  500 E Street, SE
 Second Police District  3320 Idaho Avenue, NW 
 Third Police District  1620 V Street, NW
 Third District Substation  750 Park Road, NW 
 Fourth Police District 6001 Georgia Avenue, NW
 Fifth Police District  1805 Bladensburg Road, NE 
 Sixth Police District  100 42nd Street, NE
 Seventh Police District  2455 Alabama Avenue, SE

For more information on collection sites in surroundings areas, visit